tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC May 29, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
>> president obama just laid out dick cheney says that means the president's now losing two wars. are the republicans ready to lose this debate again? >> america must always lead on the world stage. military that you have joined, is and always will be the backbone of that leadership. >> president obama sets a new path forward for united states foreign policy. >> president obama laid out his vision for american foreign policy. >> just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail. >> the address did not match the hype. unlikely to quiet detractors. >> think military intervention is the only way for america to avoid looking weak. >> we have a problem of weak ness very, very, weak. >> weak, weak, weak, we're weak. >> any body thinking it is funny getting expertise from dick cheney.
>> i think it is the case he hates to use military power. he doesn't think it is ever justified. >> the united states conducted and operation that killed osama bin laden. >> there is a great weariness with war. >> we are turning the page on a decade of war. >> obviously very disappointed. >> we have a problem of weakness centered right in the white house. >> america must always lead on the world stage. just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail. good evening. i'm ari melber in for lawrence o'donnell. when president obama outlined his foreign policy at west point this particular line got under the skin of some conservatives. >> some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures without thinking through the consequences. >> former vice president dick cheney may have taken that personally. he rushed to fox news for an
exclusive, sean hannity interview that was long on attacks. >> i think the perception around the world is increasingly negative, sean, but i think the main focus is on our president. he is very, very weak president. maybe the weakest certainly in my lifetime. >> that its of course a tremendous claim from the vice president who backed george w. bush's war of choice to find w.m.d.'s in iraq and new levels of chutzpah when sean hannity invoked iraq to make a distinction in obama's speech. >> i don't think this president grasps the difference between ending a war and actually winning a war. >> uh-huh. i think i see where he is going with this. and cheney of course, eventually took the bait. so he really didn't preside over the ending of two wars, but the losing of two wars based on his decision. isn't that pretty contemptible record. we are now leaving afghanistan to the tender mercies of the taliban.
mr. vice president you, said stupid and unwise. i agree with your assessment. but does it also then mean that the president only ended a war and didn't win it. he should have been in it to win it. is that fair? >> absolutely. >> you agree with that? >> absolutely. i agree with it. >> you got to be in it to win it when you are serious about foreign policy. let's look at the record. two surges. 13 years later. strategic drawdown of troops, treated as an automatic loss. cheney dent run through the results in the region, cutting down al qaeda, deposing, saddam hussein and the taliban. he is going through what he is hearing during his tourist trips. >> i know from my own experience, recent trip through the middle east. spending several days talking with folks back to desert storm. they're absolutely convinced the american capacity to lead and influence events in that part of the world has been dramatically reduced by this president. we have got a problem of weakness.
it's, centered in the white house. >> as mr. cheney said there, you can rely on that assessment because it is based on his experience. that experience of course led hem to say this to bob schaeffer? >> do you think it will be a long war or short war? >> based on my time as secretary of defense, i'm confident that the troops will be successful and it will go relatively quickly. there is possibility of complications you can't anticipate. >> ginning me, chris hayes and alex wagner. good evening to you both. chris, i want to start here and try to take this seriously at first. whatever credibility problems dick cheney has. this was the debate for years. barack obama came into office, one controversial thing he did was add troops to afghanistan did a surge now doing a drawdown. it says something to me really
rotten about the core of the credibility of the republican party that they can't deal with any of that actual up and down troop factual history. and have to instead pretend winding this down after 13 years, much longer than world war ii is an automatic loss. it is weird to think of wins, losses to begin with. part of the structural problem of how war is conceived of. i think it is note worthy to me. dick cheney felt he had to run to the cameras to defend the legacy of dick cheney. not a lot of people are. he was there, aside from john mccain, lindsay graham statement, you would program a macro on your microsoft word, to issue, there isn't a ton of appetite. when the republican base, and your rank-and-file republican conservative politicians, to have more war in afghanistan. so, in fact, i think dick cheney appearing on sean hannity making
this argument of weakness was this lion in winter moment, right. he had lost. not just the national debate. strength and weakness, ridiculous and sophomoric way to talk policy. but he is actually lost the debate within the republican party. i think quite resoundingly. >> a huge repudiation of his entire legacy. that's why dick cheney is in front of the cameras. 77% of the country thinks we should keep our military intervention where it is or draw it down further. around the globe. i mean, there is a vast and sort of unquestioned conclusion that we have reached here which is that -- it's time to get out of afghanistan. to your point. i have a hard time imagining a republican president that would articulate a foreign policy that is vastly different from what the president was articulating on at west point. here is someone, who made the case for military might. using strategically. fundamentally it is going to have nimble, counterterrorism forces deployed in american interest and basically said that
is it. we are not going to use our military in any other capacity, don't have resources and not sentiment. >> the irony, to the extent it is true american influence in the middle east is diminished in this period, debatable, whether it is, good or bad thing. in fact if it is. to the extent it is true you. want to say to dick cheney you built that. you did that. you guys did that. the degree to which, the, the, you know, the threat of force is often more powerful than actual force. what happened in this case was, the looming idea of america coming in and change things became reality. that revealed something. eternally true. there are constraints on what the u.s. can do with force. the specter of future military force probably had more power to it before being exposed for what it is. >> to that point. not only force, but trying to change these governments.
you see that in places where it didn't happen from external force in egypt where it is very difficult to figure out what comes next. right? in places that don't have civil society or history. the other part that is useful here. dick cheney going on tv, as you are saying, partly because no one else will. does excavate what would alternatives be. might be useful for policy. here is him trying to explain what should be done instead of what president obama is doing on iraq. take a listen. >> what he has announced in afghanistan, going to zero u.s. force in afghanistan, by 2016, totally ignores the reason why we went in there in the first place. as though he wasn't around when 9/11 happened. >> not around when 9/11 happened. just put that to the side. the idea of -- keeping more forces in the region. what you get is sort of a weird, like, south korea, dmz, model from cheney. we should have these troops there forever. >> dick cheney needs for dick cheney, for afghanistan not to
swirl into the arms of the taliban. they will blame dick cheney for that. he needs tight be okay. the idea there will be 9,800, sort of security guards effectively there at end of 2014 is like deeply disconcerting to him. the fact there has been a rise in, you know, violence and insurgent, violence, that, that many people credit to the taliban. is disturbing to him. because, if it all goes south over there. people will blame bush cheney. >> dick cheney has a legacy of ashes. that ways heavily on dick cheney, we should not gloss over the danger and insidiousness, strength over weakness. if you listen to lbj in the vietnam wars, astounding, lbj, everybody saying this is a disaster why are we sending our boys over there. we are getting our butts kicked. this can't end well. every time the person who wins the argument, if we pull out we
will look weak. there are two reasons you can plausibly deploy military force. one is to, for self defense, strategic aim. the other is to simply show you are strong. it is remarkable the number of wars and the amount of death, bloodshed and horror, justified solely, to prove the pin the that one is strong. throughout the american experience. >> that's why a lot of this has a weird rhetorical echo of the ukraine debate. you didn't have a lot of serious republican proposal house to use sanctions or soft power you. have a fear that putin looks stronger than us. don't think that makes sense as this unwinds. look at the republican party. read one thing from the man who did the support the iraq war and realize heed was wrong. he writes the fact that republican elites are so excite add but a jeb candidacy suggests they don't understand how large a shadow george w. bush's -- over their party. inside establishment, the bushes represent, responsible conservatism. for many americans, millennials, they represent economic meltdown, unwinnable bar.
for jeb bush, it is impossible. you can't sister soul your own brother. >> george bush sista souljaed his own dad. >> give him credit. the sister soul, famous rap has to be retired. >> dark horse for the republicans is sister soul. >> what about it? >> yes, he is the deeply -- it is interesting. this sort of amnesia around the bush legacy. part of it is because the republican party hasn't come to terms with anything. not anything in terms of policy. in terms of where they want the party to actually go. they haven't made amend with the ghosts of christmas past. >> the base has though. that's what's the most interesting thing to me about republican politics on foreign policy. it is still the case that all of the old think-tanks are operating.
all bill crystals and dick cheneys on fox news. all the politics remained the same. the base has gone way in the other direction. how they feel about military interaction. >> the only war the tea party wants is against barack obama, mostly a rhetorical war. alex wagner, chris hayes. thank you for joining us. you are available to everyone tomorrow, four hours apart. 4:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. >> how we thing of our self. >> just tune in. >> coming of an amazing interview with the late maya angelou about ronald reagan, caring for the poor and what that does for our national unity. what she says about the early '80s has profound parallels to today. we'll show you. later, house republicans pick a fight with michelle obama. and she is fighting back. captain: this is a tip. bellman: thanks, captain obvious. captain: and here's a tip. when you save money on hotel rooms, it's just like saving money on anything else that costs money. like shoes, textiles, foreign investments,
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to pass three balanced budgets, on time. for the first time in thirty years. today, the deficits are gone and we've invested an additional 2 billion dollars in education. now john perez is running for controller, to keep fighting for balanced budgets. democrat john perez for controller. utah's senior senator, orrin hatch conceded to inevitability of marriage equality and told a utah radio show.
let's face it anybody that doesn't believe that gay marriage will be the law of the land hasn't been observing what is going on. the trend right now in the courts ties permit gay marriage. and anybody who doesn't admit that just isn't living in the real world. hatch said he doesn't think same-sex marriage will ever be completely accepted by all americans or by all the nation's churches. up next, you may remember maya angelou, a poet, civil rights champion, but what about her work as a political philosopher. we have been looking over archival footage over the last day and found an incredible interview where she takes on ronald reagan. that's next. are you ready grandma? just a second, sweetie. [ female announcer ] we eased your back pain,
as the country continues to mourn the loss of great maya angelou, we are reminded of her work, not as a poet and play right, analyst and political philosopher. in 1982, merv griffin, posed an interesting, open question to maya angelou, what do you find disturbing? she drew a line from the humanitarian priorities of the new deal to what she saw as the decline of the status of the poor in ronald reagan's america. >> what do you find disturbing these days? >> oh, my dear. >> huh? >> oh, our country disturbs me a great deal these days. >> how so? >> there were -- exquisite programs begun in the early 30s which involved looking at and admitting that there were working class people who were
unemployed. there were the aged that were considered the blacks, hispanics, native americans, asians, the very poor whites in the carolinas and virginias, and in other parts of the country. there was consideration for the children and the handicapped. and within the last year -- we see a pulling away from those concerns by an administration which frightens me. >> they call that era though the great give away. >> oh, my dear. >> took away incentive for people to get and do something with their lives. >> however, out of that era came the spirit to win world war ii. >> right. >> out of that era came the spirit to, to oppose one of the
most vicious conditions we have seen in this century, nazism. out of the era of the '30s came the spirit to join the war with a positive attitude. as one people. so that -- the poor and the well off and the whites and blacks and the asians, everybody went to save the world for peace to make it a better country. more than it is today which is these yet-to-be united states. not to cast any aspersions. >> joining me now, host of msnbc's "the reeve report." >> good evening. >> good evening. >> we went through footage. we wanted to play that. look at that. the historical context. looking at the new deal. fdr, the spirit of unity and purpose that we had then and what she saw as ronald reagan's dismantling of consensus and policy. obviously it echoes today
because you have parts of the right not all of the right. but parts of right that really do say explicitly they want to go all the way back, not just social security, go all the way back and take apart the new deal. >> can i just take a moment to marvel at the timber and quality and the poetry just of maya angelou's voice. just the quality of her speaking voice was incredible. everything she said, was poetry. that having been said. this was a woman, an activist. activist, compatriot, friend of malcolm x, martin luther king, the poor people's campaign, so who actually acted out her beliefs about what should be done to help the poor and the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. so she was herself an activist. it was interesting saying the things to merv griffin, friend of the reagans, republican, and reagan was pushing through the draconian budget, three taxes in '282, '83, that eviscerated
lyndon johnson's great society programs, ended spending on the war on poverty. right in the midst of that happening. reagan pushing that through despite, republican congressman, speaker of the house. pivotal time. speak with a member of the opposition. remarkable footage. >> yeah, the other parts that you noticed, we were talking about this today, a philosopher. and, things on the grandest scale. you don't have to believe in fdr's domestic policy, right. to be against the nazis. everyone was against the nazis. but she was speaking to the fact that if you want to, don't tell me, that what fdr did and what we cam together as a nation weakened us or in, in mr. griffin's lexicon was a great giveaway. it wasn't a giveaway when people came together, worked hard and had dough domestic and foreign priorities.
>> the new deal had a great gap. which we have seen in the discussion of the article. much of the new deal excluded african-americans. it created the greatest boom in the middle-class, particularly the white middle-class the country has ever known. many of whose children, or those people. turned against the same programs and underwinning provided by the federal government by the time you got to the 1960s. you did have a philosophy that exists. precursor to the tea party. that any support from government is essentially theft from the wealthy to give to those who are just simply more lazy and less productive members of society. remember this goes way back. of a fight against giving civil war pensions from then-conservatives. a huge fight against the new deal. from then-conservatives. always a fact, that believed any assistance to americans in need is theft from the wealthy and gift off to the lazy. >> she was politically active through out her life. when hillary clinton/barack obama primary was going down,
she sided with hillary clinton. some people who didn't understand the depth of her thinking would have thought maybe she would automatically beep with barack obama. she was not. >> she was not. at that time t. hillary clinton did need endorsers in the african-american community of stature. she was losing her lead rapidly against barack obama and african-americans. a pivotal endorsement. she made a video, spoke of her pride of being supporter of hillary clinton played at fundraisers used around the country. she took a lot of heat for tip. of course once barack obama won the primary she became a huge supporter and talked of her joy at seeing him, ascend to the white house. at the time you have to remember too the big thing about maya angelou, is that she was a tremendous activist for women. a tremendous activist. pushing back against even the civil rights movements. sort of exclusion of women from leadership. so i think her endorsement of hillary was friendship and advocacy of her gender. >> right. she also used it at a time.
briefly when she did endorsement. she said i am not painting a picture, north carolina is without racism. wanted to speak to the other thing that are going on in the race. still standing up for who she wanted to. >> they were friend. very good friends. >> joy, thank you for being here. catch joy on "the reid report." next, new developments in the national security debate. the white house backing legislation that could change how the nsa tracks your phone. we have new footage from the nbc exclusive interview with edward snowden from an undisclosed location in rush yeah. no matter what you think of him. we'll talk to a national security expert and a lawyer about the evidence he leaked is changing our security debate. >> we have a doctor on who blew the whistle in the crisis. stay with us. shinseki. out to provide you with the most powerful and reliable network experience. and now for the next advancement. introducing verizon xlte.
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>> what did 9/11 mean to you? >> i never told anybody this. no journalist. but i was on ft. mead on september 11th. right outside the nsa. so i remember, i remember the tension of that day. i remember hearing on the radio the planes hitting. and i remember thinking my grandfather who worked for the fbi at the time, was in the pentagon when the plane hit it. i take the threat of terrorism seriously. and i think we all do.
and it's really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort of scandalize our memories to sort of exploit the, the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through to justify programs that had never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don't need to give up and our constitution says we should not give up. >> in the spotlight tonight, the fugitive and the likes that are leading to new rules for spying. edward snowden's location in russia remains a secret. nbc's brian williams did sit down for the first american tv interview since snowden left the u.s. he says his leaks were good for our country and the nas failed to detail any specific ways the leaks harmed national security. and snowden showed how governments can turn the phone in your pocket into an invasive
device. >> this is turned off. inert? >> yes, the nsa, russian intelligence service, the chinese intelligence service, any intelligence service in the world that has significant funding and a real technological research team, can own that phone the minute it connect to the network. as soon as you turn it on, it can be theirs. they can turn night a microphone. they can take pictures from it. they can take the data off of it. but it is important to understand that -- these things are typically done on a targeted basis. right? only done when people go, this phone is suspicious. i think it's being held by a drug dealer. i think it is being used by a terrorist. >> can anyone turn it on remotely if it is off? can they turn on apps? did anyone know or care that i googled the final score of the rangers/canadiens game last night because i was traveling here?
>> i would say yes to all of those. they can turn them on with the power turned off the device. that's pretty scary. >> today many are saying there is no reason to listen to snowed den because he broke the law and is a traitor. his defenders emphasize most reports of government wrongdoing from watergate, and surveillance to blackmail martin luther king they all required leaks. no matter what you think of snowden, what matters is the evidence he released. that evidence was overwhelming of government agencies running operations some of which the white house says president obama didn't even know about and surveillance so vast it presumes we are all suspects. all of that led to a national security breakthrough just last week. that was when the house passed a bill with a partial ban on the nsa's bulk collection of certain phone data. the bill was written by republican author of the pac act. after some pressure was endorsed by the obama white house.
they often save politics makes strange bedfellows. when it comes to rolling back some of the excesses in our nation's response to 9/11 it was leaks and evidence that drove bipartisan action on the hill. joining me now to break it down is the deputy legal director of the aclu one of the groups working on snowden's defense, and a former intelligence analyst for the nsa professor at national security affairs at u.s. naval war college. thank you for joining us. we have had hey lot of debate since 9/11. how to dupe this. last week we had arguably the largest bipartisan action here. it actually rolled back surveillance. because of these leaks? >> absolutely. i think there has been a huge shift over the last year. since the first disclosures relating to ♪ den documents. -- snowden documents. the way the government has been addressing the issue. huge shift in public opinion.
members of the secret court that oversees government surveillance. speaking out about the need for reform. members of the intelligence committee. speaking out for the need for reform. there is a bill in congress that would -- begin to -- to reform some of these surveillance policies. i think it is a really beg deal. none would have happened but for the disclosures. >> john, on the plus size if you buy that, you have some reform in congress. it is not often that sensenbrenner, who wrote the patriot act trying to find a solution here with president obama. on the con side you have the nsa argument, your former colleagues that this hurt national security. although snowden said last night they can't point to specific examples. first, ari, the debate with mr. sensenbrenner about reform to, nsa activities impact the privacy of americans. a debate i really welcome.
i have wanted to have for a long time. that is a different matter from the vast majority of snowden leaks which are about the nsa foreign intelligence mission. the damage there has been devastating. it is beyond disingenuous for mr. snowden to suggest, nsa cannot show damage. they will not, because the it is classified. a false game. i want to delineate between the two. i welcome domestic debate. i hope congress acts in the manner that represents the will of the american public. whatever that is. a very different issue from what most of mr. snowden has done. >> i think to be fair, the nsa has been unable to point to evidence of harm even in a classified setting. they have had that opportunity. >> that's not true. >> many opportunities. >> that's not true. that is simply untrue. >> if you listen to the senators, all the people who have seen classified evidence. they say there is no harm. not just no harm, but no evidence that these, that these practices have actually led to substantial successes.
>> john, why do you dispute that? >> no. complete nonsense. and transparent nonsense. first of all, has meta-data collection been important. a debate we have to have. >> hold on. john, john. hold on. let me tell you the debate we are having. you said that what jamil said isn't true. apparently there are specifics. can you substantiate that? >> you want me to divulge classified on national television. i am not going to t if the senator said there is no damage from the leaks, damage to the u.s. britain, canada, australia. the damage to australia, in nearby yeah. massive damage. biggest most damaging leak in the history of intelligence. don't lie and say there is no -- for. >> we are having a debate about what the nsa has provided, the claim, focusing on, they told
members of gang of eight or intelligence committee of specific ways this has been compromised. you are saying to be clear, you are saying you think they have. >> absolutely. yes. >> i've don't thinning they have. been asked several times. we are not going to be able to resolve that here. the important point, this is something that you alluded to. its the need for this debate about the scope of the nsa's surveillance activities both inside the united states and outside the united states. i think that -- as you say, that, this, this debate about this survey lane activities inside the united states is an overdue debate. good thing we are having it now. the president welcomed the debate. surveillance outside of the united states. i don't think the nsa should have a free hand to engage in mass surveillance outside the united states. i don't think the chinese government should have a free hand to engage in surveillance inside the united states.
i think you have to draw some lines. one of the problems we are seeing through the disclosures is the nsa hasn't drawn the lines. and intelligence committees haven't drawn the lines. only now is the public being invited into the debate. being invited into the debate because of the disclosures. >> go ahead. >> yeah. look. it would be nice if the russians and chinese stopped spying. they're not going to. that's why we have counterintelligence. aclu cannot help us. in the real world. countries spy on each other. i am a hawk on protecting civil liberties of americans against unwanted unnecessary surveillance. the notion we are going to get a global spy ban, that beijing and moscow will honor is crazy. >> i've don't think any body is asking for a global spy ban. where are the lines. the problem is, the problem is there are no we, have, we have lines in all sorts of, in all sorts of context involving -- intelligence. right. we have lines, we have lines in the way the governments use drones. we have the lines in the way governments use force in military conflicts.
there are all sorts of treaties. >> yeah, running out of time. john, one point would be the, john, let me go ahead. your final word. the white house would say the nsa was doing things they weren't informed about. mentioned that in the lead of the script. they're doing, foreign dignitary surveillance which apparently the nsa decided to do the white house said it didn't know that would be a lie, right, go ahead, your final thoughts? >> yeah, look, bottom line, the president is a very busy man. they're not briefed on every sing nsa does or cia or fbi it is a lot of things. the white house does not normally get involved in the matters. very busy people. should not be surprising at all to anybody. >> thank you, a good debate one that will continue. and i would argue assisted by the likes. thank you both. if you want to see the in the view. airing it again tomorrow night on 9:00 p.m. eastern. coming up a huge question facing many parents. its football too dangerous for your sons or daughters to play. tell you what came out of the white house u.s. on this issue today.
and mom in chief, michelle obama, fighting back against gop lawmakers trying to turn back improvements in the nation's school lunch program. the "washington post's" reporter will break it down. my name is jenny, and i quit smoking with chantix. before chantix, i tried to quit... probably about five times. it was different than the other times i tried to quit. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it's a non-nicotine pill. chantix reduced my urge to smoke. that helped me quit smoking. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history
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>> the l.a. clippers reportedly have a buyer if the nba forces donald sterling to sell the team. steve ballmer at a cost of $2 b his offer beat others that included oprah winfrey and david geffen, the board of directors will vote on forcing the sale as soon as next week. up next, michelle obama versus republicans on nutrition.
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mrs. obama is locked against a house republican push to derail nutrition standards for school lunches. she doesn't single out the opposition party in her advocacy to the day the first lady took her argument to "the new york times," arguing the gop plan would stick american students with less healthy food every day. she writes some members of the house of representatives are now threatening to roll back these new standard and lower the quality of food our kids get in school. they want to make it optional not mandatory for schools to serve fruits and vegetables to our kids and allow sodium and fewer whole grains than recommended. our children deserve so much better than this. now republicans say some schools need the flexibility of waving the standards. the obesity epidemic costs $190 billion a year. health experts are saying children need stricter guidelines not waivers. joining me now, from "the washington post." you have been writing about this, you talked about how one sort of nutrition school, school
person in north carolina said, look, people don't here don't accept whole grain tortillas, we need flexibility. what do you make of the arguments? >> i thinning that was in new mexico. you have heard these arguments. school district in georgia. they wanted to take fried chicken out of the school district there. some complaints from kids. but eventually they got to liking baked chicken. you have heard these sorts of arguments. as well you heard arguments that kids just don't like this food. right. but as the you remember from your high school days, i remember from mine as well, you know when you are in school you complain about the cafeteria food. you know you run for student body office, proclaiming that you are going to change what the men to is in the cafeteria. that isn't something that is new. but they are using, in this fight, the house gop, as well as the school nutrition association saying, listen the kids aren't liking this. and this is meaning that a lot of this food is being tossed
aside. not a ton of evidence that shows there is any more waste in the school system than there is in the average household. >> yeah, i don't know if you knew this. you are talking to a former high school class president. which may not be a surprise. i did not run on that. something everybody complains about few people do something about. of course people are going to complain one reason or another. that's why it is the standard. if it what was everyone wanted to eat, it wouldn't be a standard or rule. i do want to be fair to the republicans here and play sound from the congressman leading the fight. although i am going to play the sound. it struck me as -- a little rude, because the he is saying that, first lady doesn't really understand the impact of what is her signature policy priority. take a listen. >> i do think that ms. obama is well intentioned. i don't mean to be disrespectful to her program. i think it is what is happening in this, i am not sure she realizes the full impact in greater america. this is where the heavy hand of the government is coming down
and trying to dictate to local school systems everything about even putting salt shakers on the table. >> explain to us what is going on there? >> first of all. if the isn't really michelle obama's program. it goes back to 1946. really president harry truman's program and recent iteration of nutrition standards updated nutrition standard really started under president bush. so there is that. but i think what we are seeing in that conversation is really a fight that we have seen take place around the school system for generations in this country. and this is, you know sort of a battle about states' rights. right? the school systems have been the site of politically contested site for many years. and i think with this -- that's what we are seeing. very much an unexpected fight. i think around this issue. you have seen a shift. not clear why, why nutrition association used to be on one side of the fight. now on the other. i think we will get to see in some ways, they're being influenced by the food industry
that backs them. >> appreciate your historical context there. a little silly certain point when people say they want government out of their schools when these are of course public government schools. but they have an argument on the federal state issues. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> the doctor who exposed the problems inside the original phoenix va hospital getting so much attention. he will join us to talk about calls for shinseki's resignation. what are you doing? uh, well we are fine tuning these small cells that improve coverage, capacity and quality of the network. it means you'll be able t post from the breakroom. great! did it hurt? when you fell from heaven (awkward laugh) ...a little.. (laughs) im sorry, i have to go. at&t is building you a better network.
it's great for watching game film and drawing up plays. it's got onenote, so i can stay on top of my to-do list, which has been absolutely absurd since the big game. with skype, it's just really easy to stay in touch with the kids i work with. alright, russell you are good to go! alright, fellas. alright, russ. back to work!
>> the president was extremely troubled by the preliminary report. the inquiries, the president wants to see the results of these reports. and he as you know, made clear that he believes there ought to be accountability once we establish all of the facts. >> yesterday an internal va report found va hospitals hatch falsified records to hide the long waiting time for veterans waiting to get care and today we can report that obama administration officials are telling nbc news that secretary shinseki is on thin ice. president obama has not fired a cabinet officer during his 5 1/2 years in office. the va report revealed, 226 veterans waited 115 days for their first primary care appointment.
1700 were never put on the electronic waiting list at all. shinseki is showing no plans of stepping down despite growing calls in congress, not all of the president's opponents are piling on however. speaker boehner struck a measured tone today. >> i'm going to continue to reserve judgment on -- on -- on general shinseki. the question i asked myself is -- is him resigning going to get us to the bottom of the problem? is it going to help us find out what's really going on? and the answer i keep getting is no. >> joining me now, the man who first exposed what has been going on at the va hospital in phoenix. dr. sam foote who retired from there last year. how do you do? >> thank you for having me on your show, ari. >> is this reaction what you expected or helped to achieve when you first blew the whistle. >> i had no idea it would get this big. >> do you think you are going in the right direction then.
or do you think some of the focus on shinseki or term night him is overblown. >> clearly with randy petzel, dr. petzel in the delay and deny mode. he briefed shinseki in that conference. when they were together. he said, let's wait and see. i don't think we need to wait or see. i think the evidence is clear. now there is no argument do we have a problem? yes, we do have a problem. and we need to start taking steps to address that. and i think -- that, that secretary shinseki is either going to sink or swim on whether he starts addressing that quickly and aggressively. because if he stays passive and doesn't do much, i think you are going to are a lot more calls. if he were in the navy instead of the army he would be subject to it happened on his watch. and that's definitely true. >> doctor, you are saying we have a problem. i would say that's true. we have three problems.
veterans waiting. then we have falsified records or lies about them waiting. third the question of whether the va system is accountable at all. you going public, basically, blowing the whistle is what seems to have moved this a lot more than, what should have been done internally to begin with. i want to give you a chance to respond to this. last night's house committee hearing. you were specifically mentioned by congressman, mike kaufman in discussion with a va official how they deal with this stuff. take a listen. >> did you ask for a meeting with dr. foote. >> i did not. >> oh, why didn't you ask for a meeting? here is somebody that was clearly at the center of the storm. you are there to understand what the process was. and yet you dent request a meeting with dr. foote? >> i at the time was concerned that it might interfere with the ig's investigation. >> you know, i think your concern was, it might interfere with the truth. and i got to tell you, how far this problem goes.
because the fingerprints of y'all that are at this panel today are all over this problem. because i can tell you, you are not being forth right in your testimony. >> your response? >> i laughed pretty hard when i heard him say that he didn't do it because he was afraid of, interfering with the investigation or compromising the investigation. when he was here, organized a little party, he had some friendly veteran service officer groups that came in. and they had a little presentation where she had some nice pretty graphs for how she had reduced waiting times. and you know, i did not hear of any type tough thorough investigation. i don't think this investigation was any more thorough than what the doctor's was. >> sir, let me ask you. you are retired. do you think it is harder to make the va work or get the word out they're afraid of retaliation? >> absolutely. at our medical center.
if you just speak up about anything, a problem. you become a target. and well have a pretty ruthless and brutal administration that just goes after people like crazy. an excellent example of that. visually impaired, public relations officer who was treated as if she had sold nuclear secrets to the iranians after having her husband who had photographed the veterans day parade was downloading them on to a power point presentation for her. and the assistant director spotted this and reported this. they escorted her out and were going to fire her within 30 days had she not filed a claim to step in. that's one example, the other is that dr. mitchell. went to senator mccain's office. they alleged, she might have, maybe might have compromised patient data. >> dr. foote, you started something here that hopefully will lead to solutions. appreciate your time and what you have done.
you get tonight's last word. i want to thank everyone at home for watching. "chris hayes" starts right now. high noon for president obama. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this unfinished disaster, this ticking grenade, if you will, at the veterans administration. timing is everything in politics and shows how a leader makes decisions, shows decisiveness, confidence, sure-footedness. the longer president obama holds this grenade in his hand, the more dangerous this situation becomes. i'm talking politics here. when a leader confronts a crisis, he needs to act, needs to be seen acting. what action has president obama taken here to deal with the manifest disaster at the va? the disaster of four-month waiting times covered up by claims of one-mowa